This morning, I awoke with the dawn. I felt the soft, warm sunlight dancing over my exquisitely sculpted cheekbones and perfectly placed freckles; I enjoyed my body embraced by the luminous sunlight. I flirted once with the idea of naming my freckles, but then I got distracted. Maybe I will one day. Being temporarily distracted is my specialty, and this morning was no exception. For a split second, I forgot about you, and basked in the rays of sun…and then reality set back in, and I realized that it was not you snoring softly beside me; it was Hobbes. Again, two weeks after our two weeks, I was crushed. I felt my world come crashing to a halt.
I packed up my powerbook and Hobbes and headed over to The Grove to try and get my mind off things. Writing would help. Coffee would help. Three pounds of Bodega Chocolate would help. I wished I could go to Magnolia with Steph, the two of us indulging in soul-soothing cupcakes the way we always used to. A tear slid down my creamy cheek.
I stopped at Coffee Bean on the way there, and as I was getting out of the CLK, my blackberry shrilled a familiar, warm ring. Avril Lavigne. An email. From Steph.
I know how you woke up this morning, pathetic and depressed and weepy. I understand how you feel sweetheart, I really do, but it's been three weeks, and it's time to move on. At this point you know what you need to do.
Get under another man. It's the only way.
Dazed, I opened the door of CB, plunging into the familiar, dark brown aroma, trying to dispel my disbelief. What had Steph just written to me? She can be so harsh, so cold. She doesn't understand. You were my world, and you discarded me like a cheap Fendi knockoff.
I stood in line, waiting to order enough coffee and coconut cake to feed all my fans (and I have a lot of fans), when fate brushed the seat of my True Religion jeans. I spun and stared. He was standing there, smiling apologetically, holding his wallet. It was fat with bills. I wanted to ask him what he did for a living, but you don't ask perfect strangers questions like that, especially at the Coffee Bean on a traumatic morning, with heartbreak on your sleeve like blood from a fresh wound. I didn't want to seem needy or desperate, so I turned around, gazed hungrily at the menu, plotting my next move. His wallet was so fat.
I ordered, then stepped to the left. He shuffled up, now standing next to me. Our heads turned to each other as if our eyes were magnets, and our gazes locked for a precious second. He was older, metallic-haired, with deep lines sketched across his face. I looked down, and he knew I was really looking sideways at him. I could sense his smile. Then I noticed his wedding ring, and laughed.
"What?" His voice was scratchy and a little quavery. He was nervous. I knew he liked me.
"So you were flirting with me."
He laughed. "Listen, Red, I haven't said a word to you."
"I can feel it. You want me."
He hesitated, fumbled with his cane a little, looked at his wallet. "How much?"
Then my mountain of cake arrived, and when I looked back, he was gone. Sighing softly, I picked up my delicious burden and struggled out the door. When I got to my car, he was leaning on it, breathing heavily from his trip across the street. Waiting, watching the door I came through. Waiting for me. He wanted me. I was on the long, twisting road to recovery; Steph would be proud of this first step. I smiled as I opened the passenger door, gingerly helped him into his seat. I was going to sleep with a married man. A man who had options, who was weighing his conscience against sweet temptation the way I had weighed my morals against his wallet, but who, at the end of the day, knew a good bargain when he saw one.